Bruce Spingsteen, the American Rock legend, finally gets his Irish passport.

Mullingar's Bruce Springsteen gets Irish passport

Mullingar's Bruce Springsteen was presented with his Irish passport in Thomond Park, Limerick, on Wednesday night.

Rathowen has now invited the American rock legend back home for The Gathering where they hope to present him with his great-great grandmother’s birth certificate.

The Boss’s great-great grandmother Ann Garrity was born in 1830 and in a recent book Land of Hope and Dreams: Celebrating 25 Years of Bruce Springsteen the authors traced Springsteen’s great-great grandmother back to Rathowen, where she attended school as a child.

She lived in Mullingar before leaving for America, where she settled in New Jersey, on Leopold Street - the same street Springsteen was born 70 years later.

One of the authors of the book, Moira Sharkey, spoke to the Westmeath Examiner about Springsteen’s roots.
She said “The name Springsteen is a new addition to the family line,” she explained. “During his Irish concerts in recent years Bruce has always said that he is an Irish man and that he loves Ireland so we decided to check it out. For the five generations before Springsteen came into the frame the family had all Irish names which included Farrell, McNichol, Sullivan and McCann. If you looked into it you would probably discover that he has relatives in every corner of Ireland but the Mullingar and Rathowen links were the strongest ones that we found.

“Garrity was probably originally Geraghty but because so few people were able to read and write their names were often written down the way that they sounded.

“We focused a lot of the material in the book about Ann, on what happened when she got to America because that is where Springsteen was born but certainly he was right when he said that he is an Irish man.”